TEMECULA, Calif. (KABC) — Josue Barron joined the Marine Corps at age 17. Raised by a single mother, Barron said the Marine Corps itself was like a father figure to him growing up.
“I didn’t have a dad, so the Marine Corps became my father. There was discipline, so I feel like it became that role model that I needed to become who I wanted to become,” he said.
Barron was working his second deployment in Afghanistan on Oct. 21, 2010 when an IED exploded, causing him to lose his left leg and left eye.
“I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I knew what I wanted. One thing I didn’t know was, I didn’t expect to lose a limb,” he said.
The veteran, a recipient of the Purple Heart, said his wife and mother were by his side through it all.
“My wife became my main support system. My mom was there. So I had two strong women with me every step of the way,” he said.
Barron said using a prosthetic leg means nonstop pain.
“Walking on your prosthetic is pain daily. You’re in constant pain, and people will never see that. They just see somebody walking on a prosthetic,” he said. “When I come home, I want to sit down in that wheelchair and relax.”
Barron applied to be considered by the Gary Sinise Foundation.
“We go through a rigorous deep dive into their qualifications,” said Elizabeth Fields, COO of the Gary Sinise Foundation. “At some point, it’s up to Gary to make his final approval.”
Barron said when he received the call from Sinise himself, he knew that he and his family were going to be OK.